The Supreme Court has held that Home Secretary of the State Government cannot order further investigation or re-investigation of a case by another agency at the instance of the acused.

The Court observed that “…under the scheme of the Cr.PC, the Police Officer of the concerned Police Station, who is the investigating officer, has to investigate/further investigate the case under the supervision of Superintendent of Police. So far as the Secretary (Home) is concerned, he does not come into picture at all.”

The bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar made this observation in the case wherein the Secretary (Home) State of U.P had transferred investigation of a murder case to CBCID after the mother of the accused had moved an application in that regard.

Senior Advocate Vibha Datta Makhija appeared on behalf of the appellant and Senior Advocate S. Nagamuthu appeared on behalf of the accused.

The Apex Court noted that the accused was chargesheeted for the offence under Sections 302 and 120B of the IPC and that the accused’s plea for quashing the entire criminal proceedings including the chargesheet/supplementary chargesheet was dismissed. The Court pointed out that the request of the mother of accused was accepted by the Secretary (Home) and the investigation was transferred to another agency despite the fact that after the first chargesheet, the investigation was handed over to the District Crime Branch to further investigate the case and they filed the supplementary chargesheet in which the accused was even chargesheeted.

The order passed by the Secretary (Home) transferring the investigation/ordering further investigation by another agency and that too, on the basis of the application/complaint submitted by mother of the accused is un- known to law.”, the Court noted.

The Court observed that if such powers are given to the Secretary (Home) then any accused who is already chargesheeted may approach the Secretary (Home) and may get an order of further investigation or reinvestigation by another agency and obtain the fresh report nullifying the earlier chargesheet and get himself discharged.

Thus the Court set aside the order passed by the Secretary (Home) and consequently the further investigation by CBCID also stood quashed.

Cause Title- Bohatie Devi (Dead) v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors

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